Friday, June 2, 2017

Music is my Religion



Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded and now I’m doing time
Now I’m doing time
‘Cause I fell on black days
I fell on black days

Chris Cornell


June 2, 2017

On May 18th, I woke up to a text from a friend, letting me know that Chris Cornell was gone. Her and I had just seen him with Temple of the Dog a few months’ ago. I only realized, after cranking his music all day, that it was the same day my mom left us too soon. Her body finally shut down after a lifetime of heroin abuse.  

I really hope those quick to demean Chris will take a moment--and be kind--try a little empathy. Maybe have a listen to some of his lyrics and put yourself in the shoes of someone who may not have been in their right mind at the time. There’s a lot of variables involved--and the only one who knows the particulars, is no longer here.

Chris’s lyrics and melodies got me through the 90’s. There were times where all I could do was crank the volume to 11 and put one foot in front of the other…or follow my mother’s footsteps and feed my demons.

I have no knowledge that Chris was an addict, but if he indeed struggled with addiction, I can’t imagine he was thrilled about it. I’m sure my mom didn’t choose heroin over 3 kids for shits ‘n’ giggles. Addiction does not discriminate and can get you when you least expect it. My mom had 8 years’ sobriety at one point and all it took was one more time and she was back in full swing.

Thank you mom, for turning me on to good music. Your album collection was incomparable and I love that you had no problem dragging my brother and I to pop festivals. If someone asked me what my earliest memory is, I’d say sitting on a blanket with flowers in my hair, surrounded by 100,000 hippies--and being mesmerized by a man on stage in a cool outfit, making cool sounds come out of something strapped over his shoulder on a hot summer day in ’69. Mom owned every Hendrix album.

My ego doesn’t want to admit that I struggle with depression and anxiety--that it can take hold of me like a strait jacket with little hope of finding light at the end of the tunnel. My demons have got the best of me a few times over the past 10 years…and they tend to tighten their grip when life throws the curveballs.  

I don’t leave home without an Ativan in my purse. Sometimes I go months without needing one, but in learning about the side effects, I’m going to think twice before ingesting another one. Hopefully we can all help to raise awareness about these tiny little pills that can create big problems.

The thought of suicide makes me incredibly sad. Imagine the pain one must be in to make a choice to leave their loved ones behind? Depression doesn’t rationalize--it’s like war; you either live or die fighting. Each life is precious. May we all show some love and compassion to those in need. And if you feel like you’re alone, you’re not. Reach out.

A few years ago, I came to a red light at Sunset and Doheny. Chris was waiting at the crosswalk right next to me. “Thank you for your music,” I said. “Right on,” he replied with a smile. For me, Cornell was my Hendrix. He did it his way with no apologies and that resonated with me. The significance of his body of work has yet to be recognized. Give it time.

I can’t imagine the void left in the hearts of his family and fellow bandmates--that it was clear he loved and cherished. Sending them love and light. I’m so sorry that you suffered in the end Chris. What a gift that you left so much music that will no doubt, get me and many others through black days.

Say hello to heaven…and Hendrix…and my mom if you should see her.

Peace.


Y.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dear Distracted Jackass Drivers



September 4th, 2016--I was rolling north on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles--just past the 405, headed to a Labor Day BBQ. I noticed a car in the fast lane going considerably slow—creating a bizarre, significant distance between the cars moving forward in front and a line of stacked cars behind. One by one, everyone navigated around this jackass and carried on.

I ride a motorcycle. I made my way up to “slow driver in the fast lane” and glanced over to see both of his knees at the wheel—no hands—not even one--both typing on his phone—at something that must’ve been incredibly important. And a female passenger—apparently okay with this, glancing at me with a big smile as I shook my helmet head. (And yes, I did extend my middle finger—it was well deserved.)

I’d love to say this is a random happening…that I see it here and there--but I see 75% of drivers on their phone--every-fucking-day—because I ride, every day.

Is it really THAT important that you have to fill your time with nonsense—while you’re driving a motorized vehicle? Is it THAT important that you reply…to something you just read while operating a moving vehicle? Surely, it’s something that can wait. If not, pull the fuck over—get over your insignificant self and stop rolling the dice.

Its people like YOU, that think “I got this—I can multi-task.” Guess what? You can’t. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong. You are the problem—you are the reason innocent loved ones are ripped away from families and friends—that’ll never be able to make any sense of it. They’ll never understand why you chose to “like” a selfie—or take one--when they had no choice in losing a loved one.

You’re not special. You are not talented. You are a selfish asshole. And when you take a life—a son, a daughter, a grandmother—maybe even someone in your own car--good luck sleeping at night. No, really—good luck. 

And to my friends and family who are reading this and are part of the problem? I sort of want you around—so please stop. The life you take could be your own. And if you take a life—you’re probably going away for a while.

I’m beyond exhausted hearing about a life lost because someone was so desperate “to leave a comment”…pathetic. People on their way home to see their families—hug their children--maybe give their parents a smile—gone forever--because you wanted to “be in the social moment”…again, pathetic.

Don’t we have enough heartache in this fucked up world to have tragedies occur that don’t have to?! Come on people. The statistics--of deaths--related to distracted driving are astounding.

And the motorcycle statistics? Astronomical. People like me, that have been riding their entire life are being subjected to unbelievable encounters. And yes, we know what we’re getting into when we get on a bike, but this is insanity

I’ve been riding in in Los Angeles for over 25 years. Only since cell phones, has it become an utter fight for your life behind the handle bars. By the way, we will always split lanes. It’s really no big deal. Believe me, we’ll be down the road before you know it—so kindly let us pass. Yes, there are AssHats that split lanes too fast, but most of us do it with a rhythm and fluidity, that doesn’t require anyone to panic. And thank you to those who move over a smidge for us—especially the monster trucks—we heart you.

Let’s forget about the land-splitting for a second. How about taking a look--period--before you even change a lane? You remember Drivers-Ed, right? “Mirror, signal, blind spot.” Common sense mate. Mind blown how many jackasses just yank the wheel and change a lane, without EVER taking a gander behind them. And the ones that cross the SOLID line into the carpool lane. You’re an ASS. You’re the ones who take out my friends on bikes. Solid line=Don't cross.

Bikers today have to assume every-single-car is on their phone now. When I see a car start to veer—I lag back…and I wait--for the right time to pass. 9 times out of 10, when I glance over, they’re looking down at their phone. 9 times out of 10. Epidemic. (Don’t get me started on the drunk drivers.) And grown men in suits trying to run me off the road—because they don’t like the fact that I’m getting to work, or home, before them? Sad really.  

It seems every other week, I see an Instagram post: “#rideinpeace _________”. Someone that was a seasoned rider—gone. Only to find out it was because of a distracted driver.

Don’t be someone who fills in the blank. Just stop. It’s okay to admit you have a cell phone addiction. It’s an epidemic. Find a meeting and replace the word alcohol, or drugs, with mobile device…and save a life—maybe even your own—maybe mine.

As I write this, I’ve heard at least ten Harley’s roaring down the freeway. There is no way to describe how it feels to ride...bliss personified. Please be kind to us out there. The majority of us are good people—with families--who’d welcome you around any campfire.

#ItCanWait

#HowImportantIsIt?

Many thanks in advance.

Peace & Blessings.

Yvette Nipar

Sunday, May 26, 2013

~Ro~

 
Well here I am in the guilt chair and you are leaving us…even though I can’t wrap my head around that…that someone with your fire and resilience could be taken by a damn tumor…but your labored breathing spoke volumes to my heart today.

I held—oops, I just typed, “healed” by accident…but there are no accidents are there? It was healing for me because I know you forgive me for not being around lately. I held your hand for about ten minutes. Those ten minutes meant the world to me.

Your face lit up watching “That’s Entertainment” even though you’ve watched it no less than ten times in the past few days. You read aloud, “Overture” in your eloquent accent when it appeared over the crimson red curtains as if it was the first time you’d seen that word.

Funny thing about brain cancer—apparently you forget all the bullshit--and only see the happy and the love and light in everything. The teal green nail polish in Cosmo made you smile—no less than five times. When we decided the hideous beige espadrilles were not for you, you smiled anyway. And when I pointed out the man with the photo-shopped abs, you stared at him in wonder, then chuckled.

I asked you if you wanted to color. All I could manage was a happy face. You then drew an even happier face with a plum purple crayon, retracing the smile--back and forth until it stretched high above the eyes.

I so hope you’re not in pain. One would never know by your smile that warms like a campfire. I know you’d much rather tell us all to “fak off” with all this attention, but we love you and we shant. 

Thank you for all the good company--thank you for all the good laughs—thank you for lending an ear many a day—especially when a certain jerk was a certain jerk.

Thank you for all the extraordinary pool days—in your perfect-solar-heated-pool, complete with extra high foliage that allowed me to go topless without a second guess and be inspired by the youth of your bum. All those hikes paid off my dear and I shall see you on the trail. You will laugh at me for running in the crazy valley heat and I will take note of your big floppy hat that I should be donning.

I got it. I got the lesson. Even though I was sure I was chock-full of lessons for the time being—there are so many more to learn. I guess that’s why we’re here--to learn life lessons.

I’m sorry that I didn’t heed your email and swing by for a drink the day I received it. Boy have I missed our little routine that saved my sanity many times over the past eight years. I justified it because I’ve been trying to cut back on vodka o’clock…and wine o’clock…and the five o’clock somewhere go-to excuse. But there is no excuse for having more ego than will power—and I know I don’t have to say anymore…

I will cherish our time together—there are no mistakes that we ended up living within a few miles of each other. Thank you for being a dear friend and thank you for your wicked sense of humor that always followed with a one-of-a-kind girlie giggle.

I got it. I got the lesson. When a friend says, “Swing by for a drink,” then follows it with, “Life’s too short,” I will take note. So, thank you for that.

You held my hand so tightly today, I knew you were saying goodbye. When I asked you if you were happy you replied, “Yes,” with a smile.

Please come round once in a while and let me know when it’s vodka o’clock and we’ll toast to you and your shining smile.

Love you~

Yvette
5-18-13

P.S.
You gave your heart for another week—smiling all the while. Rest in Peace dear Ro. XO

Sunday, February 19, 2012

...For they know not what they do.



“One of the world’s greatest problems is the impossibility of any person searching for the truth on any subject when they believe they already have it.”  Dave Wilber


I’ve always been fascinated by those who can blatantly lie or falsify things and then be able to lay their head on their pillow at night…and get a good night’s sleep to boot!

Better yet, the hypocritical ones who pride themselves on being good, honest people in search of the truth—as their daddy once taught them, and turn around and contradict all their so-called beliefs with pure malice and comical denigrations.

The only conclusion I can come up with is they’re just plain evil and will one day meet their maker, or they’re just a sandwich short of a picnic…a few imperative screws missing from their sociopathic head.

Sociopath: A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

Lack of conscience—my conscience is my truth. Without truth, my conscience cannot and will not allow my head anywhere near my pillow.

How about those who can’t separate truth from fiction…or those who have no moral code whatsoever? We’re supposed to pray for them right? What about when their actions directly harm our children? That makes it very difficult to pray for them.

I for one, can have my character questioned 'til the cows come home, I know who I am. When I see a child brought into the mix, with zero credence, to further one's comic book mind? …You attempt to hurt the parent, you hurt the child.

Again, they’ll meet their maker…and again, we shall do our best to pray for them.

"To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant."  Bronson Alcott

Y.